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In the United States, there is a strong focus on nightly academic assignments. The reasons for this focus vary. It seems as if the more rigorous the subjects become, the more assignments that are given. In the past twenty years, the academic load has doubled in terms of time spent on the work.
Looking at the views of the history of homework in America is interesting. These facts and ideas explain a lot about the philosophy.
It is considered, now in this day and age, acceptable to give per subject thirty minutes to an hour of homework no more than three times a week. Some schools have taken to letting certain subjects be assigned for work on specific nights. For example, you may only be given Math tasks on Tuesday and Thursday. This approach may lessen the burden on the students.
The reasons for nightly and weekend assignments vary, however, the work should never be given as a punishment for behavior issues in class. The assignments may be given for reading for foundation, new practice, refresher of details, reinforcement, or preparation for an examination. Some subjects, such as math or science, tend to have more tasks assigned than other subjects. The long term assignments can also put more of a burden on students, if you are working on a term paper and a science project, in addition to regular work, the load becomes too much.
Some of the first public schools in America were formed in New England. There was no homework at the time, since young people often had important jobs in the family such as planting or fishing. Dame schools were held in homes and were for young girls. The subjects were not as academic as the work for the boys. Some homework given might be sewing or needlepoint exercises. Horace Mann was one of the first education advocates in the U.S.
With the push for academic excellence in the United States, the views on homework may adjust some. It has been suggested that less homework that is more strenuous might be expected. The work would push the students more, but no longer take four to five hours a night to complete. All assignments would need to be valid and not just the dreaded busy work.
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